Two nights after beating OKC in OT, Raptors drop 116-109 decision to Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) picks up an offensive foul on Toronto Raptors guard Danny Green (14) during second half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Friday, March 22, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, March 22, 2019 10:30PM EDT
TORONTO - Paul George scored 28 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder exacted some revenge on Toronto Raptors with a 116-109 win on Friday.
Kawhi Leonard topped Toronto with 37 points, while Pascal Siakam had 25. Danny Green had six three-pointers to finish with 19 points, while Serge Ibaka scored 11 points, and Norm Powell grabbed 11 rebound for the Raptors (51-22), who were missing all-star guard Kyle Lowry.
Dennis Schroder added 26 points for the Thunder (43-30), who snapped a four-game losing streak.
The Raptors had beaten the Thunder 123-114 two nights earlier at Oklahoma City, but not before blowing a 20-point second-half lead to force overtime.
Playing the second game of the back-to-back series, and their final game of the regular season against a team with a winning record, the Raptors led for most of the night. But Toronto saw its 13-point third-quarter advantage evaporate with 20-3 Thunder run.
Oklahoma City went into the fourth up 83-80.
The Raptors regained the lead briefly in the fourth, but consecutive three-pointers from George and Schroder put the Thunder up by 10 points in front of a capacity Scotiabank Arena crowd of 20,014.
The Raptors pulled to within four points twice down the stretch, including with 1:40 to play on a dunk by Marc Gasol - his only two points of the game. A pair of Russell Westbrook free throws and a layup by Schroder iced the game for OKC with under a minute to play, sending fans pouring toward the exits.
Lowry sat for the second consecutive night with a right ankle injury, the fourth game in the last five he's missed.
“He's in pretty good shape,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. “I think we've again checked it every way we can check it so there's nothing really there other than some soreness. I think we're saying next week some time and day-to-day all in the same sentence. Just whenever that soreness goes away and he feels like he's ready to go, he's ready to go.”
The Raptors shot a sizzling 69 per cent in the first quarter, and 83 per cent from three-point range, going ahead by eight points on a finger roll by Siakam late in the frame. Toronto led 29-22 going into the second.
The Thunder used a 14-4 run in the second to slice Toronto's 11-point lead to just a point. But the Raptors ended the half on a 9-0 run to head into the halftime break up 58-48.
The Raptors host Charlotte on Sunday and Chicago on Tuesday.